UNHCR ‘deeply distressed’ by report of nearly 100 naked migrants on Greek-Turkish border


The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said it was “deeply saddened” by reports of nearly 100 naked migrants on the Greek-Turkish border.

“UNHCR is deeply saddened by the shocking reports and photos of 92 people who were reportedly found stripped naked on the Greek-Turkish land border,” The agency tweeted on Sunday.

“We condemn this cruel and degrading treatment and call for a full investigation into this incident,” it added.

Turkey and Greece blame each other for the situation. Greek Immigration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi tweeted a photo on Saturday in which he hinted at some of the 92 migrants at the border, accusing Turkey of shameful behavior.

It is unclear why the man in the photo is not wearing clothes.

“Turkey is a civilized disgrace to the 92 migrants we rescued at the border today,” Mitarachi tweeted alongside the photo.

The immigration minister added that he wants Ankara to investigate the incident and protect its borders with the European Union (EU).

CNN was unable to independently verify the photo.

Greek police said Saturday that its forces “found 92 unclothed illegal migrants, some of them with injuries,” near the country’s northern border on Friday.

“Following an investigation by the Greek police and officials from the EU border agency Frontex, they were found to be [the migrants] Pushed into Greek territory, via the Evros River, in a small boat from Turkey to Greece,” police added in a statement on Twitter.

The statement added that Greek authorities had immediately provided the migrants with clothing, food and first aid.

According to the migrants, they were transported by Turkish authorities’ vehicles to the Evros River, where they boarded rubber boats to cross the Greek side, Greece’s Civil Protection Ministry said in a statement Saturday.

“Turkey continues to openly exploit migrants, violate human rights, [and] violates international law,” the statement continued.

Turkey has denied involvement in the incident.

“If you can’t find a case of human rights violations [Turkey]you just want to expose [the] The image of cruelty you cast, as if [Turkey’s] complete [it],” Ismail Catakli, the country’s deputy interior minister, responded to Mitarachi on Twitter on Saturday.

Catakli also accused Greece of “manipulation and dishonesty” in his tweet.

Greece last year built a 40-kilometer (25-mile) wall on its border with Turkey amid concerns that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan could lead to an influx of asylum seekers.

In the mid-2010s, the country was at the center of Europe’s migration crisis, when millions of refugees and migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq headed to the continent. It has since taken a hard line, rejecting requests from Turkey and international organisations to allow more migrants to pass through its borders.

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